“University” refused permission to sue The Australian

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by George Brown, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. George Brown

    George Brown New Member

    Some of you may remember this NZ entity, rather obscure and nondescript, which threw its frock up when it was listed in the The Australian's 'Wannabe unis'. I didn't realise the case had lasted this long.


    “University” refused permission to sue

    A Wellington-based company, the University of Newlands, has been refused permission to sue Nationwide News, publisher of The Australian, for defamation after its internet site named the “University” in a 2004 list of 100 “wannabe”, “degree mill” universities it said conferred degrees based on life experience. The “University” has also been ordered to pay $6,000 in costs.
    The University of Newlands and its sole director, Rochelle Forrester, sued for defamation, saying that the wannabe university title implied that its courses did not confer proper qualifications. Responding, Nationwide News applied to have the proceedings struck out on the basis that any defamation proceedings should be heard in Australia and, in any event, there was no case to answer. Its lawyer, Bruce Gray, argued that, because the Education Act prohibits use of the name “university” and “purporting to offer degrees”, the University of Newland’s degrees are worthless. He also argued that the “University” either had no reputation to harm, or already had a bad reputation.

    According to a report in the Dominion Post, the Court of Appeal said the defamation case could not go ahead. Newlands and Ms Forrester had not shown it had a good arguable case that an act had been done in New Zealand for which damages could be claimed from a party outside New Zealand. Without their showing a good arguable case, New Zealand courts would not assume jurisdiction, the decision said.

    Among the factual concerns were that the Court seriously doubted if there was enough evidence to show anyone other than Ms Forrester had downloaded the material in New Zealand. Also, because Ms Forrester was not named in the Newlands website, she could not claim to have suffered harm directly from Newlands being labelled a “wannabe uni”.



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